Pearce stands by Dickov to boost City's morale

The Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce is backing Paul Dickov to "raise the tempo" in his second stint with the Blues.

Dickov's arrival from Blackburn has not met with the wholehearted support of City fans, who feel the 33-year-old's capture, four seasons after he was released by the former manager Kevin Keegan, represents a step backwards.

Yet Pearce is convinced he is obtaining much more than an experienced striker who is to compete for a place alongside Andy Cole, Darius Vassell and Georgios Samaras.

The Blues manager has seen enough of Dickov's spirit to know what a positive influence the former Scotland international can be on the training ground. "If every player possessed the same mental approach to the job as Paul my job would be a bit easier," Pearce said.

"From the first moment I spoke to him I could see he was desperate to get back to City.

"We know what we will get from him. He is a player with a top-flight mentality and he will raise the tempo in training and in matches."